Caucus can safely roll Cunliffe from next week

June 12th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett writes:

More critically for Cunliffe is the open opposition among senior members of his own team to any collusion with the Internet Mana Party. The caucus is split between those who believe the party should hold its nose and do what it must to get the Government benches and those vehemently opposed to any such deal. The official line is that Labour will make its decision after the voters have had their say. Yet MPs Phil Goff, David Shearer and Chris Hipkins, as well as Napier candidate Stuart Nash, have strongly and publicly condemned the Internet-Mana situation.

Such things are usually left to the leader to take a stand on in public. The fact these MPs went over his head and spoke out shows the strength of their views and suggests they are wary of what Cunliffe might do and hope to pre-empt it.

There is some suspicion about the influence of Cunliffe’s chief of staff, Matt McCarten, who has past allegiances to the Alliance Party, now reborn through Laila Harre under the Internet Party banner, and Hone Harawira’s Mana Party. He could well believe a deal in Te Tai Tokerau was a good idea. The MPs in question did get some return fire on David Cunliffe’s Facebook page from Labour supporters.

But Cunliffe can’t afford to ignore such strongly-held views in his caucus. He is about to head into his own danger zone. From June 20, Labour’s caucus has a three-month window to change the leader without having to go through the party’s new primary-style process giving its membership a vote.

If Cunliffe was thriving in the polls, he’d be on much safer ground to make such calls about the Te Tai Tokerau seat and the Internet Mana Party. There might be some grumbling but little else because there would be too much to lose by changing the leader. As things stand, it might not take much to spark a revolt whether a rival contender is ready and willing or not.

I’d forgotten that clause. There is no way caucus would roll Cunliffe if it meant an open leadership election again. But, they can do it safely after 20 June.

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57 Responses to “Caucus can safely roll Cunliffe from next week”

  1. goldnkiwi (1,152 comments) says:

    Such fun!!

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  2. BeaB (2,080 comments) says:

    I hope they come up with a new team that will amaze us all. Imagine Annette King and Trevor Mallard as her deputy.

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  3. Dead Earnest (140 comments) says:

    Would any sane person want to take over the leadership of the Labour Party at this point though?

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  4. big bruv (13,552 comments) says:

    Oh yes!

    Grant Robertson for leader of the Labour party, that is the way to connect to middle New Zealand or Waitakere Man.

    You really could not make this shit up.

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  5. Peter (1,663 comments) says:

    Go Full Moon.

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  6. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    My money is on Jacinda, with campaign pics photoshopped to make her look like Hulun. It’s the best strategy they’ve got.

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  7. adze (1,982 comments) says:

    I suspect Labour realise that a new leader at this stage won’t make much difference – it’s not like they have a lot of depth in leadership talent. If they lose this election I imagine Cunliffe will be quietly told to stand aside. Whichever faction wins out, who knows.

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  8. Alan (1,077 comments) says:

    There is zero prospect that they’ll roll him. None. Nada.

    It’d cost them their chance of the election (presently I give them a 1 in 4 chance), and it’d piss off the rank and file party members that pay the bill. Come October a heavy price would be paid by anyone stupid enough to do so.

    Cunliffe for better or worse, is the best they’ve got. I’m pretty sure he’s aiming to lead them into 2017. His problem is the rump of old timers in safe seats, he needs to stack the local parties and unions and get one or two of them deselected.

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  9. J Bloggs (173 comments) says:

    I agree with Alan – no-one is going to want that poisoned chalice before the election – the leadership will be there for the taking come October

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  10. NK (1,128 comments) says:

    Such things are usually left to the leader to take a stand on in public. The fact these MPs went over his head and spoke out shows the strength of their views and suggests they are wary of what Cunliffe might do and hope to pre-empt it.

    I swear this was Trevett writing about Mark Mitchell’s comments about standing aside for Colin Craig and what Key might want to do in the very near future.

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  11. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (833 comments) says:

    Robertson-Ardern team will be a winner…..

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  12. noskire (835 comments) says:

    I recently asked Trevor Mallard what portfolio he would hope to hold if Labour did manage to cobble together a coalition with the Greens, NZF, Mana and Internet.

    His reply: None.

    Interesting…

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  13. Alan (1,077 comments) says:

    I disagree that’ll he’ll be dead meat in October.

    The fundamentals aren’t any different from a year ago; no one else has broad support in the wider party. The members aren’t going to vote for Grant, Shane is gone. Parker and Little without public profile. An election defeat isn’t going to convince the members they were wrong.

    Third term administrations are hard, the tarnish wears off pretty quickly, Key would surely not run for a 4th term. Without no obvious successor to Key (his political brilliance has outshone his colleagues so much) Cunliffe would surely fancy his chances of 2017 against perhaps Joyce.

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  14. allgoodal (14 comments) says:

    Desperate days in the Labour caucus. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Goff gets another go.

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  15. emmess (1,394 comments) says:

    They won’t roll him before this election.

    But how about this scenario.

    Cunliffe fails miserably this election
    Isn’t rolled after the election but still keeps union backing, no one challenges until late 2017
    Cunliffe is rolled and the party is in even more split going into the next election, Labour loses again.

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  16. minus (158 comments) says:

    Some enterprizing journalist should ask Helen

    Headlines could be –
    Helen Uninterested in Labour Future
    Helen Gives So-and-so The Kiss Of Death
    Helen Admits No Talent Left
    Helen Admits No One Cares Enough To Even Try

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  17. stephen2d (67 comments) says:

    They would be stupid to roll him now – because, whatever happens they are likely to lose. And if they do lose AND they have rolled Cunny, then he will be there, waiting for his “real” come back, poisoning us and them even further. Leave him there, he will lose and lose so bad that Goff’s result will look amazingly good in comparison, after which Cunliffe could pack his ego and piss off to set up new Fonterra’s and into the history books.

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  18. Chuck Bird (4,750 comments) says:

    “I swear this was Trevett writing about Mark Mitchell’s comments about standing aside for Colin Craig and what Key might want to do in the very near future.”

    That is totally different. Colin will get ECB not Rondey and Mark knows it.

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  19. OneTrack (2,794 comments) says:

    Look out Cunners! He’s behind you.

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  20. Keeping Stock (10,168 comments) says:

    Hey David – beware the Ides of June ;-)

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  21. Keeping Stock (10,168 comments) says:

    @ noskire – that’s probably because Trevor has expressed a desire to be the Speaker in a future Labour-led Government. I guess he figures that’s the only way he’ll ever get a knighthood.

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  22. adze (1,982 comments) says:

    noskire, it’s been common knowledge for a while that Mallard aspires to be Speaker. I hope he retires before he gets it (partly because I hope Labour don’t get in, but also because I think he’s an asshole).

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  23. noskire (835 comments) says:

    @ adze, Keeping Stock – Sorry, I was just of the understanding he was keen for a tilt at it after the last election.

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  24. Colville (2,168 comments) says:

    Any aspiring leader would need to be insane to roll Cun*liffe now rather than wait 6 months.

    Feb next year woudl be my pick, after a few summer BBQs to sort out who is the lucky one that gets to knife him. :-)

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  25. tas (596 comments) says:

    If they roll Cunliffe, Labour are screwed. It won’t boost their poll numbers (at least not with the options available to them). And then Cunliffe might want to pull a Rudd and have another crack in 2017. Better to let the voters deliver the verdict on Cunliffe (permanently ending his leadership ambitions) and regroup after the blood letting is over.

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  26. coge (181 comments) says:

    In all honesty there is no one among them who could improve Labour’s fortunes at this point. Might as well let DC take one for the team.

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  27. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,830 comments) says:

    If the polls drop to 21% within four weeks, he’ll be gone.

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  28. tvb (4,242 comments) says:

    Jones could have done it. But National fixed that. Jones is in the US with various pacific states lining up to see him.

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  29. lilman (920 comments) says:

    Havent heard Judiths position on this.
    I guess shes is more closely related to Labour and its inner workings than she lets on.

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  30. coge (181 comments) says:

    Be unlikely for Labour to get below 25%, that’s the rusted on crowd who don’t know any better. Still I’m prepared to be surprised.

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  31. burt (7,994 comments) says:

    tas

    I think what you say makes sense. But surely, this is Labour, old school cloth capped unionist beat their enemy’s up in the pub, not the back alley.

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  32. burt (7,994 comments) says:

    Labour below 25% – music to my ears. They should have been banned for standing indefinitely after 2005. Mallard, King, Cunliffe, Goff – resign. You showed your colours in the past and shit stained don’t belong in parliament.

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  33. Nostalgia-NZ (5,031 comments) says:

    The interesting question now is who brought McCarten in, and on what terms.

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  34. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    coge; I am with you… however they crunch the numbers in the War room, who would want to take it, 100 days out, against the most popular PM since MJ Savage…?

    And that’s quite apart from the question “Who else could they possibly pick?” I always make jokes about Cosgrove (what else can you do about that nasty clown?) but seriously, he’s as likely a contender as anyone else right now…and if they stuck him in the saddle that would be a definite loser both now and next time…

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  35. Pete George (23,297 comments) says:

    Cunliffe brought McCarten in so there’s a good chance it wasn’t universally popular. And McCarten lost round one of the Labour-Internet-Mana play. But the McCarten strategy is presumably far from over.

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  36. publicwatchdog (2,270 comments) says:

    What if there is an Epsom by-election and National drop 10 points because of increasing public understanding of how CORRUPT NZ actually is – especially under the leadership of ex-Wall St banker John Key? Penny Bright

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  37. Nostalgia-NZ (5,031 comments) says:

    Not so sure he lost it PG. But that is certainly what this is about. Note also the CTU having achieved the right to sue employers for allegedly unsafe worksites. All the quiet stuff, a bit like McCarten’s arrival. In total probably makes Cunliffe’s leadership safe well into the future.

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  38. Fisiani (992 comments) says:

    I did not know about that clause in the Labour constitution. Grant (I polished up the handles so carefully that now I am the leader of the King’s navy) Robertson has to decide whether to roll The Cunliffe late June and be the leader into the election in much the same way that Mike Moore was leader for 6 weeks. He risks copping the blame. He usually plays the long game and is happy to sabotage the election and ascend to power late September.

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  39. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    You know who: fuck off and give yourself a long drop

    Penny: Are you well?? Never seen such a brief post from you! I am concerned..in a totally caring and sharing way of course…

    [DPF: 20 demerits. Don't tell people to eff off]

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  40. themanwhowatches (22 comments) says:

    Ok Penny Bright, I’ll bite. Leaving aside the very unlikely by-election scenario, what exactly is your evidence of a “corrupt NZ”? Is J Banks your point? Or maybe D Cunliffe with his secret trust? Or maybe the Hone/Dotcom fiasco? Or do we go back to Taito Field and various other strange events of past Labour Governments? Or, just maybe, it is all in your head and your strange allusion to J Key being somehow responsible is simply your political bias taking control of your brain?

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  41. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    Cunners will go down this election……. Auntie Helen will fail in her bid for world domination at the UN.

    She will be prepared to settle for domination of Godzone and will return to rapturous proclamations to take the 2015 elections in a landslide 70% of the popular vote! :)

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  42. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    On the death of QE11 Helen will immediately declare Godzones a republic to save us from the mad Charles111 and by popular acclaim declare her/its self President for Life! :)

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  43. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    All the staunch chaps from the Stranded will be promoted to Presidential Guardsmen under the command of FolksSystemLeader lPrent and immediately round up and shoot, the Old Guard from the Labour Party and then they’ll come for us! :)

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  44. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    To arms brothers and sisters while you still can! :)

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  45. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    Missed my 8:45 Minus! :)

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  46. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    You need to pop in to your local Opticians! :)

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  47. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    Good man Minus old chap! Always put your reading glasses on here! :)

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  48. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    He seems to be on dinner break johnboy. Must be a union member working to rule

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  49. publicwatchdog (2,270 comments) says:

    Does ‘themanwhowatches’ do any reading or research? Ever heard of a couple of forms of ‘grand corruption’ which are endemic in NZ? ‘State Capture’ & ‘Post-Separation Employment’ ? Let me know how you get on ….. Penny Bright

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  50. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    Yeah nah Penny, you thinking National will drop 10 points is about as realistic as us thinking you’ll pay your rates

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  51. Johnboy (15,537 comments) says:

    If you refuse to pay your water bill and don’t stop drinking water that sounds like fraud to an honest man like me! :)

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  52. burt (7,994 comments) says:

    No water meters right … No power meters either right. Free petrol at the pump and no money to buy a car. FFS Penny if you object to paying for water – don’t live in a city !

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  53. themanwhowatches (22 comments) says:

    Reading or research? More than you might think Penny. I am well aware of your personal obsession with “grand corruption” and the particular example, according to you, of Simon Power. You say this is endemic, where is your evidence? What current examples do you? And how exactly does J Key get the blame for them? Going back in time could we not – for examples – put Mike Moore’s foray into the WTO and Helen Clarke’s into the UN, both hugely facilitated by the taxpayers’ money, as examples of the behaviors you complain about? Or how about multiple ex-Ministers and MPs (of all political hues) going off on Ambassadorial posts? Do you have evidence to show how the things you complain of were “corrupt”, or is this just your colorful way of saying you disagreed with them?

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  54. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (833 comments) says:

    According to Messiah Cunliffe – “There is still time”….

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  55. noskire (835 comments) says:

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

    The reality is that Labour and its pervasive ‘socialist agenda’ is a dead duck, much like the break-up of the Soviet Union.

    Mainstream New Zealand (i.e. the centre vote, the mums and dads) really don’t want to ever see a return to union strikes – they think political correctness is ‘so last decade’, and to be honest, see that good old New Zealand is trucking along quite nicely thank you very much. So there’s not a lot of room for whingers and agitators, let alone entrusting them with the corridors of power.

    The writing has been on the wall for some time, as Labour has been not-so-quietly fragmenting since the latter days of the Lange Government – and the rotting splinters are to be seen in The Maori Party, Mana, and The Greens.

    A change of leader is not the answer to Labour’s problems, rather Labour has just reached it’s use-by-date.

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  56. beautox (434 comments) says:

    Penny- Obviously never been to actually corrupt country. Go live in one for a while and you’ll understand. The only corruption is between your ears (as in ‘the database is corrupt’)

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  57. G152 (225 comments) says:

    Why stop the show when its got legs?
    Cunliffe failed, that”s the Unions out of the picture on their sure thing , their last gasp is only capable of heckling.
    Theres a David every-one ignores, one or two junior wannabes and that’s it…
    roll on the election

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